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The Great Southern Corn Ride Part 2

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to you all

Huang Chwun or The Yellow River, the life line of southern Gansu Province.

Takes many hours to get there but once you reach it it's a beautiful place to be. My Teacher Friends and I spent the afternoon on the banks of the Yellow River a few weeks after my arrival at the 'Green and Leafy' town of Si Long.

Well....not my type of green and leafy and not my type of town I guess.

Today I decided on heading further south along what I've named 'The Great Southern Corn Ride'. For me it's a real treat and as beautiful a ride as it gets up here in southern Gansu. I get to follow a green artery for as far as I wish. As already stated in my last Corn Ride entry, the greenness really doesn't go that far back but for me, it has to be enough. So once again I found myself peddling past happy smiling farmers whose lives are spent in their fields and are more than happy to offer a huge smile and wave followed by a loud HELLOW!

On my last Corn Ride I actually had no idea where I was going and how far I could go. I ended up stopping and spending much of the afternoon in little villages being chased by local village children. When I got to school and was asked where I rode and how far. I was told that if I continued I would reach the Yellow River and a town called 'Noodles'.

Sorry I really have no idea and can't remember the name of the town but will find out.

My Singapore buddy sent me a map that has both Chinese and Pinyin. I just need to get it to school and have the Chinese English Teachers tell me where I've actually ridden to. That's a job for next week.

I woke this morning to a beautiful warm and yellow sun in a huge cloudless blue sky and decided to point the front wheel south and ride until I reached the Yellow River and the town called Noodles. It was such a beautiful ride. What I actually found when I reached my southern destination was something I really wasn't prepared for.

For all those Hothouse Freaks out there, grab your walking stick, point your walking shoes this way and make your pilgrimage to Gansu China mate. This town was unbelievable. Not only was it huge but it was made up of row after row after row after row after row after row after row after row of mud brick Hothouses.

For those who think I put too many row after rows in the last sentence, point ya pilgrimage shoes this way mate and head on up to the town of Noodles. It really is like nothing I've seen before. The Hothouses create the most extraordinary labyrinth of back streets. I seriously got lost. It really isn't that often I get lost in any city or town but at one stage I actually had no idea which direction to ride to find my way out.

Finally I caught a glimpse of the mountains and knew I had to head the other way.

Whilst I was lost in the maze of Hothouses I spent time with young children playing marbles, pulling carts full of veggies and then I heard the sound that all bike riders dread...the sound of air escaping in a big whoosh from one of their tyres.

People often ask me, 'How do you get around China without speaking Chinese?' Easy, actions! For the following forty minutes I would stop and ask where I could get my tyre fixed. How did I do this? Push on my front tyre and show them. After a giggle they'd point me in a direction through the maze. After repeating this many times I finally found my way back to the main street where several old men had set up shop with some tools, patch kits and replacement tubes.

No matter where you are in China, even the most remote village you will never have a problem getting a puncture fixed. Remember, most people in China still get around on some form of bicycle. There is always a Mr Fix It close by. After having my puncture fixed I headed for a huge bowl of noodles to gather some energy for the long ride home.

By now it was around 4:30pm. By the time I got home it was around eight.

When that sun goes down and is hidden by the mountains it gets bloody cold up here.

Believe me, by the time I carried my bike up nearing 60 steps to my apartment and was welcomed by the warmth of the Steam Heating God I was a very happy man. It was a warm end to a perfect day. I also found a little hotel in Noodle Town I can stay in. I intend on returning to spend a weekend amongst the hot houses. I didn't have time to head across to visit the other part of the town on the far side of the Yellow River.

Another day, another bike ride.

The Great Southern Corn Ride part 3...coming to a Travelpod near you!

Beers N Noodles to ya...shane

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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